Friday, August 31, 2007

One with the Universe

What did the Buddhist say at the hot dog stand?
- Make me one with the universe.

"Take the common hallucinogenic experience of losing our separate self, or becoming one with the universe. This may seem, to some, like mystical hogwash, but in fact it fits far better with a scientific understanding of the world than our normal dualist view. Most of us feel, most of the time, that we are some kind of separate self who inhabits our body like a driver in a car or a pilot in a plane.

Driverless truck in the movie Duel.

Throughout history many people have believed in a soul or a spirit. Yet science has long known that this cannot be so. There is just a brain that is made of the same stuff as the the world around it. We really are one with the universe.
This means that the psychedelic sense of self may actually be truer than the dualistic view. So although our normal state is better for surviving and reproducing, it may not always be best for understanding who and what we are..."
- Helen Phillips & Graham Lawton, New Scientist November 2004.

Self-inquiry reveals that there is a self, but it is not particulate or separate from world stuff. Some would call that a 'spirit' or 'soul' but these words suggest something different from the world - dualistic thinking.

Hallucinogenics may suspend the ego self temporarily and so give a sense of being one with the universe;
however, they shift awareness into the superego, a state as far from reality as the ego.

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